Author Topic: The thread for info on churches voting to change affiliation & all follow-up.  (Read 842015 times)

Steverem

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3855 on: November 08, 2010, 12:19:46 PM »
Or, since we are very far from the actual situation, the bishop removed the pastors for other valid reasons. We don't know the whole story and here we are reading - as usual - only one side.

Au contraire--the whole exchange of correspondence was posted, was it not?  Would that not constitute "reading both sides"?

hillwilliam

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3856 on: November 08, 2010, 12:21:11 PM »
It appears a number of bishops are putting an unpleasant spin on what must be an uncomfortable truth:  Charles and Brian have quoted a bishop, and I was directly told by Bishop Tom Aiken, that those who join LCMC have removed themselves from the roster of the ELCA.  That claim is simply not true.

I did not remove myself from the roster of the ELCA.  I was removed.

You can quibble all you want about why that difference would be important to me.  I recognize it might not be important at all to some.  But what is indisputable is the simple truth of it.

Being removed from the roster is the stated consequence of joining LCMC.

  That was the ruling of the Secretary of the ELCA.  I don't think he has the power to circumvent the constitutional discipline processes either.

It's not a matter of discipline. It's stating what ELCA clergy are not allowed to do, and the consequences of it. If pastors join another church body, they forfeit their clergy status in the ELCA. Similarly, our congregations state what active members are to do -- and if they fail to do it, they can be removed from membership without going through the disciplinary steps stated elsewhere in the constitution and bylaws.


So do you have any facts that support your contention that the Pastors were not members of an ELCA congregation? The Bishop claims that the congregation is still ELCA. The Pastors were still on the membership rolls of the Congregation and had done nothing to be rostered by the LCMC. They took no action to leave the ELCA and were punished by the Bishop. The congregation is actively involved with efforts to leave the ELCA and are not being punished. How does that make any kind of sense?

Check the LCMC directory of congregations. The congregation is there. It is a congregation who belongs to another church body. The pastors, as members of the congregation, were also members of that other church body.

Check the ELCA directory of congregtions. The congregation is still there.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3857 on: November 08, 2010, 12:21:18 PM »
Whoops, you posted again and have just said that a bishop did not remove me; but that I removed myself.  We are back to square one.  

And that's exactly the same kind of language I use when a congregation council puts members on the inactive list. The council did not make them inactive. They do. The council is just being honest about their activity -- it's inactive.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3858 on: November 08, 2010, 12:22:48 PM »
It appears a number of bishops are putting an unpleasant spin on what must be an uncomfortable truth:  Charles and Brian have quoted a bishop, and I was directly told by Bishop Tom Aiken, that those who join LCMC have removed themselves from the roster of the ELCA.  That claim is simply not true.

I did not remove myself from the roster of the ELCA.  I was removed.

You can quibble all you want about why that difference would be important to me.  I recognize it might not be important at all to some.  But what is indisputable is the simple truth of it.

Being removed from the roster is the stated consequence of joining LCMC.

  That was the ruling of the Secretary of the ELCA.  I don't think he has the power to circumvent the constitutional discipline processes either.

It's not a matter of discipline. It's stating what ELCA clergy are not allowed to do, and the consequences of it. If pastors join another church body, they forfeit their clergy status in the ELCA. Similarly, our congregations state what active members are to do -- and if they fail to do it, they can be removed from membership without going through the disciplinary steps stated elsewhere in the constitution and bylaws.


So do you have any facts that support your contention that the Pastors were not members of an ELCA congregation? The Bishop claims that the congregation is still ELCA. The Pastors were still on the membership rolls of the Congregation and had done nothing to be rostered by the LCMC. They took no action to leave the ELCA and were punished by the Bishop. The congregation is actively involved with efforts to leave the ELCA and are not being punished. How does that make any kind of sense?

Check the LCMC directory of congregations. The congregation is there. It is a congregation who belongs to another church body. The pastors, as members of the congregation, were also members of that other church body.

Check the ELCA directory of congregtions. The congregation is still there.

I'm not arguing that it is not an ELCA congregation. I am stating that they are also an LCMC congregation. While no one has been able to show that the ELCA prohibits the dual rostering of a congregation, we do have the rule, stated above, that a pastor cannot join another church body.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

David Norland

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3859 on: November 08, 2010, 12:23:18 PM »
Brian -

Thank you for using a less patronizing illustration.

David Norland

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3860 on: November 08, 2010, 12:25:16 PM »
Yet an action was taken by you and the council.  I encourage you to take responsibility for your actions.

George Erdner

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3861 on: November 08, 2010, 12:25:55 PM »
Or, since we are very far from the actual situation, the bishop removed the pastors for other valid reasons. We don't know the whole story and here we are reading - as usual - only one side.

Then perhaps as head cheerleader of the ELCA around here, and a self-proclaimed "journalist", you might choose to use the skills you boast of to find and distribute the"other side" of the argument to defend the denomination you so blindly follow.

If your alleged support of the ELCA was more than just the blathering of a bitter old man, then one would expect that you would go out of your way to discover the truth and post it, with your own comments and explanations, in order to support and defend the ELCA, as you have so often pointed out you swore to do.

And to make that easier for you, Steverem even included the link for you.

Or, since we are very far from the actual situation, the bishop removed the pastors for other valid reasons. We don't know the whole story and here we are reading - as usual - only one side.

Au contraire--the whole exchange of correspondence was posted, was it not?  Would that not constitute "reading both sides"?


Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3862 on: November 08, 2010, 12:26:07 PM »
Page 45 of the Manual has been quoted a couple of times as the basis for the bishop's actions against a clergy who “enters the ordained ministry of another church body, or who joins a religious group or congregation of another church body (except as provided in 7.41.17.), or who serves a group schismatic from this church or from a congregation thereof.”

Had these pastors joined an LCMC congregation -- a congregation of another church body?

When you searched through the LCMC governing documents I posted links to earlier, where did you find any specific language that said that the called minister of an LCMC congregation was required to be an individual member of the LCMC? The ELCA does have such specific language in its governing documents. Where does the LCMC have similar language?

Were the pastors members of an LCMC congregation? Where the pastors serving an LCMC congregation? When the congregation joined LCMC, all their members, including the pastors, also became members of the LCMC. Probably if the pastors had resigned their membership from Zion and their calls to the congregation, they would remain on the ELCA clergy roster.

That didn't answer my question. It's another of your beside-the-point red herrings. You ask two separate questions. Where did you find in the LCMC governing documents that I linked to any clear statement that to serve and LCMC congregation a pastor must also be a member of the congregation that he is serving? Until you can answer that, the rest of what you are saying is meaningless.

You didn't answer my question. Are these pastors members of an LCMC congregation? I'm not asking if the LCMC says that they have to be or not. I'm asking if they are. All indications is that they are members of a congregation that is listed as a member of the LCMC.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

George Erdner

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3863 on: November 08, 2010, 12:28:11 PM »
Page 45 of the Manual has been quoted a couple of times as the basis for the bishop's actions against a clergy who “enters the ordained ministry of another church body, or who joins a religious group or congregation of another church body (except as provided in 7.41.17.), or who serves a group schismatic from this church or from a congregation thereof.”

Had these pastors joined an LCMC congregation -- a congregation of another church body?

When you searched through the LCMC governing documents I posted links to earlier, where did you find any specific language that said that the called minister of an LCMC congregation was required to be an individual member of the LCMC? The ELCA does have such specific language in its governing documents. Where does the LCMC have similar language?

Were the pastors members of an LCMC congregation? Where the pastors serving an LCMC congregation? When the congregation joined LCMC, all their members, including the pastors, also became members of the LCMC. Probably if the pastors had resigned their membership from Zion and their calls to the congregation, they would remain on the ELCA clergy roster.

That didn't answer my question. It's another of your beside-the-point red herrings. You ask two separate questions. Where did you find in the LCMC governing documents that I linked to any clear statement that to serve and LCMC congregation a pastor must also be a member of the congregation that he is serving? Until you can answer that, the rest of what you are saying is meaningless.

You didn't answer my question. Are these pastors members of an LCMC congregation? I'm not asking if the LCMC says that they have to be or not. I'm asking if they are? All indications is that they are members of a congregation that is listed as a member of the LCMC.

I do not know if they are or if they are not, but you are working from the assumption that by serving a parish that is in the LCMC, they automatically are. Since you appear to claim that their membership is automatic, then prove it so.

Otherwise, do your own research.

Maryland Brian

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3864 on: November 08, 2010, 12:28:17 PM »

I understand consequences.  I knew the 99% certainty of consequences to the action I took.  Are you trying to belittle me?

  It sounds like you and your congregation are mostly still on the same page.  The pension fund has already ruled that you can remain should you so desire.  The congregation can continue to pay your salary.  They can pointedly say they won't pay any interim the Bishop might send.  I'd say ignore the Bishop and move on as an LCMC congregation.  Build a ministry as an LCMC congregation.  

 Oh, I'm sure the "stay the ELCA course" folks in the congregation will make life miserable so only you can decide if its possible to outlast them.  

  Now *if* the Bishop should decide you must have an interim, then things will get interesting.  That sort of approach was a near disaster during the DMS debacle in Pittsburgh.  Some of you may not have been around then, that resulted in a pastor locking himself in a church, the police were called, etc., etc.  Bad PR for everyone.  

hillwilliam

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3865 on: November 08, 2010, 12:33:44 PM »
It appears a number of bishops are putting an unpleasant spin on what must be an uncomfortable truth:  Charles and Brian have quoted a bishop, and I was directly told by Bishop Tom Aiken, that those who join LCMC have removed themselves from the roster of the ELCA.  That claim is simply not true.

I did not remove myself from the roster of the ELCA.  I was removed.

You can quibble all you want about why that difference would be important to me.  I recognize it might not be important at all to some.  But what is indisputable is the simple truth of it.

Being removed from the roster is the stated consequence of joining LCMC.

  That was the ruling of the Secretary of the ELCA.  I don't think he has the power to circumvent the constitutional discipline processes either.

It's not a matter of discipline. It's stating what ELCA clergy are not allowed to do, and the consequences of it. If pastors join another church body, they forfeit their clergy status in the ELCA. Similarly, our congregations state what active members are to do -- and if they fail to do it, they can be removed from membership without going through the disciplinary steps stated elsewhere in the constitution and bylaws.


So do you have any facts that support your contention that the Pastors were not members of an ELCA congregation? The Bishop claims that the congregation is still ELCA. The Pastors were still on the membership rolls of the Congregation and had done nothing to be rostered by the LCMC. They took no action to leave the ELCA and were punished by the Bishop. The congregation is actively involved with efforts to leave the ELCA and are not being punished. How does that make any kind of sense?

Check the LCMC directory of congregations. The congregation is there. It is a congregation who belongs to another church body. The pastors, as members of the congregation, were also members of that other church body.

Check the ELCA directory of congregtions. The congregation is still there.

I'm not arguing that it is not an ELCA congregation. I am stating that they are also an LCMC congregation. While no one has been able to show that the ELCA prohibits the dual rostering of a congregation, we do have the rule, stated above, that a pastor cannot join another church body.

The Pastors did not join another church body. The congregation did. So are you saying that the members of an ELCA congregation should not be allowed an ELCA Pastor because some of them have voted to join another church body? Well, having non-rostered Pastors should help expedite the transition to a full time LCMC congregation and eliminate any further discussion.

James_Gale

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3866 on: November 08, 2010, 12:34:04 PM »
Brian's unremitting effort to get us to swim with him in a sea filled with red herrings and falsehoods ought not distract anyone here.  

The very simple fact remains that Bishop Ullestad has broken faith with the ELCA by removing pastors from the roster without any authority.  He should be called to account for his act of tyranny.  Due process matters.  It matters even (especially?) when an accused is "guilty" of some wrong.  In other words, even if a basis exists for removing the pastors from the roster -- and that appears highly doubtful -- the bishop acted egregiously by not according the pastors their rights.




George Erdner

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3867 on: November 08, 2010, 12:38:36 PM »

I understand consequences.  I knew the 99% certainty of consequences to the action I took.  Are you trying to belittle me?

  It sounds like you and your congregation are mostly still on the same page.  The pension fund has already ruled that you can remain should you so desire.  The congregation can continue to pay your salary.  They can pointedly say they won't pay any interim the Bishop might send.  I'd say ignore the Bishop and move on as an LCMC congregation.  Build a ministry as an LCMC congregation.  

 Oh, I'm sure the "stay the ELCA course" folks in the congregation will make life miserable so only you can decide if its possible to outlast them.  

  Now *if* the Bishop should decide you must have an interim, then things will get interesting.  That sort of approach was a near disaster during the DMS debacle in Pittsburgh.  Some of you may not have been around then, that resulted in a pastor locking himself in a church, the police were called, etc., etc.  Bad PR for everyone.  

I was around then, living in Pittsburgh. It made me ashamed to be publicly identified as a Lutheran for quite some time. It has been almost three decades since that debacle, and the Lutheran community in the Greater Pittsburgh Area still hasn't fully recovered. To this day there are many former ELCA pewsitters who were active stalwarts of their congregations who are now active stalwarts in local Methodist and Presbyterian congregations, and many ELCA congregations clinging to existence by the skin of their teeth. Granted, there were other factors that contributed to the decline, like an overall loss of population. But on the list of blows to the Lutheran Community whose damage is still felt today, the DMS events are still near the top of the list.

David Norland

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3868 on: November 08, 2010, 12:39:23 PM »
Hi Brian Hughes -

I've always enjoyed your contributions..

There are two scenarios being discussed, and if a veteran like you got them conflated, certainly others will too.

The situation in Iowa is being discussed, but I am not those folks.  Those good pastors situation and my own has many resemblances.  For instance, I am sure they got the same form letter informing us of our removal -- a form letter also used for those removed for cause of adultery (which apparantly most bishops don't act on with as much speed, lack of conversation, and as severe a consequence).  However, I am now in Duluth happily serving an LCMC mission start congregation.

pr dtp

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3869 on: November 08, 2010, 12:46:11 PM »
Page 45 of the Manual has been quoted a couple of times as the basis for the bishop's actions against a clergy who “enters the ordained ministry of another church body, or who joins a religious group or congregation of another church body (except as provided in 7.41.17.), or who serves a group schismatic from this church or from a congregation thereof.”

Had these pastors joined an LCMC congregation -- a congregation of another church body?

When you searched through the LCMC governing documents I posted links to earlier, where did you find any specific language that said that the called minister of an LCMC congregation was required to be an individual member of the LCMC? The ELCA does have such specific language in its governing documents. Where does the LCMC have similar language?

Were the pastors members of an LCMC congregation? Where the pastors serving an LCMC congregation? When the congregation joined LCMC, all their members, including the pastors, also became members of the LCMC. Probably if the pastors had resigned their membership from Zion and their calls to the congregation, they would remain on the ELCA clergy roster.

One more time:

1.  The bishop strenuously argues that the church's attempt to join the LCMC is completely invalid - it is neither legal nor efficacious.

2.  The bishop strenuously then argues that the pastors are being removed because the church left the ELCA to join the LCMC.


By the way - your pitiful red herring about the effect on young homosexuals committing suicide is exactly that.  To his date I have counseled 6 youth - dealing wiith that issue.  Not one has committed suicide - and some are still struggling with the issue and the spiritual implications of such feelings.  To claim that calling a sin a sin is the root cause of suicide is a either a bold lie or deliberate foolishness. Poor pastoral care is the answer, but assuring the sinner that a devotion to a sinful lifestyle leaves them "ok" with God is not pastoral at all.

No it is psychology.  ;)

None of the psychologists I work with back that kind of delusion.